EMBS stands firmly and proudly with ‘Black Lives Matter’ and supports the courageous and passionate work by so many people across the world to use George Floyd’s death, his murder, as a catalyst to bring about the profound changes at all levels needed to address the systemic racism of our societies.
EMBS Community College started life as the Ethnic Minority Business Service. It was set up to address the needs of ethnic minorities in Oxfordshire and now, 30 years later, it has become a community college working with adults and sixth formers from all communities and backgrounds many of whom face a range of intersecting forms of discrimination on the basis of race, class and gender. We share in your feelings of being broken, outraged and disillusioned by the horrifying news of George Floyd’s death and the extent and familiarity of these scenes.
Racism and discrimination exist in many forms and in many layers which are reinforced by the unfair allocation of resources and opportunities, educational and media narratives and social and political structures that favour and disadvantage particular individuals and groups. We must come together to work against all forms of racism and work towards a fairer and more equal society.
How then, should we achieve that goal? Racism and discrimination aren’t going to disappear overnight: they are embedded in our histories (as we are seeing played out right here in Oxford), institutions, literature, TV shows and distributions of wealth (sometimes based on generations of exploitation through slavery and colonialism). Rather than feel disempowered by the inertia created by these histories and institutions, EMBS is working to provide the training, skills and support that its learners need to overcome them.
Our commitment is to work with all members of our diverse communities, to participate in activities that will help to challenge and breakdown structural racism and that enhance both skills and wellbeing: to ‘pay it forward’ so that as we struggle to recover from a world turned upside down by COVID19, we ‘build back better’ – a society that has ever more effective ways of tackling the poison of racism, discrimination and inequality.
In addition to the training and support that it already provides, EMBS is keen to hear your views on other forms of support it can provide. Are there more learning resources required? Partnerships or skills that would make us more effective? Are there groups of students who we are missing or aspects of the curriculum and support that could be improved?
We value your opinions, experiences and ideas – please do share them with us.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org